Journal of Virology, June 26, 2019

Artem Baidaliuk, Elliott F. Miot, Sebastian Lequime, Isabelle Moltini-Conclois, Fanny Delaigue, Stéphanie Dabo, Laura B. Dickson, Fabien Aubry, Sarah H. Merkling, Van-Mai Cao-Lormeau, Louis Lambrechts


Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the main vectors of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) of public health significance, such as the flaviviruses dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV). Mosquitoes are also the natural hosts of a wide range of viruses that are insect specific, raising the question of their influence on arbovirus transmission in nature. Cell-fusing agent virus (CFAV) was the first described insect-specific flavivirus, initially discovered in an A. aegypti cell line and subsequently detected in natural A. aegypti populations. It was recently shown that DENV and the CFAV strain isolated from the A. aegypti cell line have mutually beneficial interactions in mosquito cells in culture. However, whether natural strains of CFAV and DENV interact in live mosquitoes is unknown. Using a wild-type CFAV isolate recently derived from Thai A. aegypti mosquitoes, we found that CFAV negatively interferes with both DENV type 1 and ZIKV in vitro and in vivo. For both arboviruses, prior infection by CFAV reduced the dissemination titer in mosquito head tissues. Our results indicate that the interactions observed between arboviruses and the CFAV strain derived from the cell line might not be a relevant model of the viral interference that we observed in vivo. Overall, our study supports the hypothesis that insect-specific flaviviruses may contribute to reduce the transmission of human-pathogenic.

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